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A thought-provoking article by George Will:
The disagreement at the source of today’s heated political debates
In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word – “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.
The fundamental division in American politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.
Now, the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.
The argument is between conservatives who say American politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty pre-exists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.
Progressives consider, for example, the rights to property and free speech as, in Sandefur’s formulation, “spaces of privacy” that government chooses “to carve out and protect” to the extent that these rights serve democracy. Conservatives believe that liberty, understood as a general absence of interference, and individual rights, which cannot be exhaustively listed, are natural and that governmental restrictions on them must be as few as possible and rigorously justified. Merely invoking the right of a majority to have its way is an insufficient justification.
With the Declaration, Americans ceased claiming the rights of aggrieved Englishmen and began asserting rights that are universal because they are natural, meaning necessary for the flourishing of human nature. “In Europe,” wrote James Madison, “charters of liberty have been granted by power,” but America has “charters of power granted by liberty.” Sandefur, principal attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, notes that since the 1864 admission of Nevada to statehood, every state’s admission has been conditioned on adoption of a constitution consistent with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration. The Constitution is the nation’s fundamental law but is not the first law. The Declaration is, appearing on Page 1 of Volume 1 of the U.S. Statutes at Large and at the beginning of the U.S. Code. Hence the Declaration “sets the framework” for reading the Constitution not as “basically about” democratic government — majorities — granting rights but about natural rights defining the limits of even democratic government.
The perennial conflict in American politics, Sandefur says, concerns “which takes precedence: the individual’s right to freedom, or the power of the majority to govern.” The purpose of the post–Civil War 14th Amendment’s protection of Americans’ “privileges or immunities” — protections vitiated by an absurdly narrow Supreme Court reading of that clause in 1873 — was to assert, on behalf of emancipated blacks, national rights of citizens. National citizenship grounded on natural rights would thwart southern states then asserting their power to acknowledge only such rights as they chose to dispense.
Government, the Framers said, is instituted to improve upon the state of nature, in which the individual is at the mercy of the strong. But when democracy, meaning the process of majority rule, is the supreme value — when it is elevated to the status of what the Constitution is “basically about” — the individual is again at the mercy of the strong, the strength of mere numbers.
Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the Framers’ premise that majority rule is legitimate “only within the boundaries” of the individual’s natural rights. These include — indeed, are mostly — unenumerated rights whose existence and importance are affirmed by the Ninth Amendment.
Many conservatives should be discomfited by Sandefur’s analysis, which entails this conclusion: Their indiscriminate denunciations of “judicial activism” inadvertently serve progressivism. The protection of rights, those constitutionally enumerated and others, requires a judiciary actively engaged in enforcing what the Constitution is “basically about,” which is making majority power respect individuals’ rights.
Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, sends a letter to the IRS annually because “I have absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and our tax payments are accurate.”
Internal Revenue Service
10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington ED 20004
Dear Sir or Madame,
I have sent in our federal income tax and our gift tax returns for 2013. As in prior years, it is important for you to know that I have absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and our tax payments are accurate. I say that despite the fact that I am a college graduate and I try hard to make sure our tax returns are accurate.
The tax code is so complex and the forms are so complicated, that I know that I cannot have any confidence that I know what is being requested and therefore I cannot and do not know, and I suspect a great many Americans cannot know, whether or not their tax returns are accurate. As in past years, I have spent more money than I wanted to spend to hire an accounting firm to prepare our tax returns and I believe they are well qualified.
this note is to alert you folks that I know that I do not know whether or not my tax returns are accurate, which is a sad commentary on governance in our nation's capital.
I should add that my wife of 59 years, also a college graduate, has signed our joint return, but she also knows that she does not have any idea whether or not our tax payments are accurate.
"The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind…I have seen the conservative future and it works…Our task is not to sell a philosophy, but to make the majority of Americans, who already share that philosophy, see that modern conservatism offers them a political home."
Here are the eleven Reagan principles.
• Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
• American Exceptionalism
• The Founders’ Wisdom and Vision
• Lower Taxes
• Limited Government
• Peace Through Strength
• Belief in the Individual
O my-another Democrat victim! Cry me a river!
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in her forthcoming book that she was “hurt” and “angry” by 2012 reporting on her fraudulent claim to Native American heritage.
“What really threw me, though, were the constant attacks from the other side,” Warren wrote in her book “A Fighting Chance.”
“I would almost persuade myself that I was starting to get the hang of full-throttle campaigning and then — bam! Out of left field, the state Republican Party, or the Brown campaign, or some blogger, would launch a rocket at me,” Warren wrote, adding, ”I was stunned by the attacks.”
This reporter (blogger?) reported extensively on Warren’s fraudulent claim during her 2012 campaign against Scott Brown. Warren falsely claimed Native American heritage when applying to teach at both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School, and Harvard later cited her presence on staff as evidence of its faculty’s diversity. Warren claimed that she knew about her family’s alleged Indian heritage because a relative told her that her “papaw” had “high cheekbones, like all of the Indians do.”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/16/elizab...
There are four responses we should have to Bible prophecy. The first is obedience, which is what Peter speaks of in the verses above. Jesus continually tells us to be ready for His coming, which could happen at any time (cf. Mark 13:33-37) and to live in such a way that we are not ashamed of our behavior.
The second response is worship. God has provided a way to escape His end-time judgments—His free gift of salvation offered through Jesus. We must be sure we receive His salvation and live in gratitude before Him. Our worship on earth will one day become worship in heaven: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’” (Revelation 5:9).
The third response is proclamation. The message of God’s salvation and the truth of His second coming need to be proclaimed for all to hear, especially to those who don’t yet believe. We must give everyone the chance to turn to God and be saved from His coming wrath. Revelation 22:10 says, "And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.’”
The last response to God’s prophetic Word is service. All believers should be diligent about carrying out God’s will and performing good works. Part of Christ’s judgments will be of the works performed by believers. They do not determine a Christian’s acceptance into heaven, but they do show what each believer did with the gifts given him or her by God. Paul says of this judgment, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
In summation, God is sovereign over all events and people of the world. He is firmly in control of everything and will bring a perfect end to everything He has started. An old Christian song puts it like this: “All is God’s creation … Fashioned by One hand … Satan and Salvation … Under One command.”
Fulfilled prophecy is one proof that the Bible is a supernatural book. Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies have already been fulfilled, and it is reasonable to conclude that what it says about the end times will be fulfilled as well. For those who know Jesus and have trusted Him as their Lord and Savior, His coming will be their blessed hope (cf. Titus 2:13). But for those who have rejected Christ, He will be their holy terror (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8). The bottom line is this: to survive the end times, make sure you are a believer in Christ: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
My husband has a cousin ( lives in Oregon), her name is Lucille. She has been suffering for two days now with a massive headache. None of the meds are helping.
She is a very good friend and sister in the Lord.
I am asking the saints to keep her in your prayers.
4/16/2014 “My people are a people of little vision or understanding, seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear. Your eyes are as the eyes of the world, and your ears like the ears of a newborn. Reel in dismay, turn and struggle to free yourself from the darkness, that you may hear o foolish men without understanding, who seeing see not, and having ears hear not. Come to the light and truth of understanding the signs and seasons in this the dawn of your awakening.
The Lion of Yehudah has roared from Heaven sending His first messenger's admonishment to repent unto redemption, three more messengers and seasons are yet to come. (2Ti 2:19). Did not Yochanan (John) My servant write these things of old, speaking of the time of My four messengers to be sent for you? Behold even the heavens bleed for the love of My elect, and covers it's face in mourning.” Shabbat shalom!
Tens of thousands of men and women are expected to visit the Western Wall on Thursday morning for the mass Priestly Blessing (Birkat Kohanim) ceremony, which takes place each year during the intermediate days of both Passover and Succot.
Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef will be in attendance. The prayer area for women at the Western Wall has been expanded to include a roofed section, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced on Wednesday.
Two new spaces have been created inside the women’s section providing for a covered prayer space for the first time. Halls at the northern end of the current Western Wall plaza have been available for men for many years. The current roofed spaces for women are temporary arrangements but will be made into permanent structures in the future, the foundation said.
PA says session aimed at extending talks rescheduled for Thursday at the request of the United States.
A meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed after the killing of an Israeli in a shooting attack in the West Bank.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the session had been rescheduled for Thursday at the request of the United States. Washington is struggling to extend the talks, on the verge of collapse, beyond an April 29 deadline for a peace deal.
An Israeli official confirmed the meeting had been delayed but declined to say who asked for the postponement or when teams would reconvene to try to breathe new life into the US-driven peace process.
In the first official Palestinian reaction to Monday evening’s terrorist shooting in the southern Hebron hills, Endowments Minister Mahmoud Al Habash told Israeli reporters in Ramallah that he was “pained” by the murder.
“We condemn the killing of all people irrespective of their background,” Al Habash was quoted as saying by Army Radio. “The idea of killing and violence is completely illegitimate.”
In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s incident, which killed Ch.-Supt. Baruch Mizrachi, the Israeli government blamed the Palestinian Authority’s “campaign of incitement” which it says motivated the murder.
On his Facebook page, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday accused the PA of “financing the murder of Jews.”
The attack re-ignited calls from within Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to take a tougher approach to peace talks with the Palestinians. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Netanyahu should order Israeli negotiators not to meet with their Palestinian counterparts until the Palestinian Authority officially issues a condemnation of the killing.
See the Shock Flyer Distributed to Some Ukrainian Jews Calling on Them to Register With Separatist Government
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